Episode 316 - Uninvited
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on Celebrating birthdays and Christmas as a family, how to handle being uninvited to a wedding, reflecting on the past, and are b list wedding guests really a thing? For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members your question of the week is about whether or not to send your regrets when the invitation wasn’t sent directly to you. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and special postscript where we discuss Housewarmings and Registries.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy that's old fashioned.
Speaker 1: Watch how
Speaker 2: busy Post and Dan Post Center act
Speaker 1: as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness. Hello
Speaker 1: and welcome toe Awesome etiquette,
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on celebrating birthdays and Christmases as a family. How to handle being uninvited
Speaker 2: to a wedding,
Speaker 1: a listener who is reflecting on past behavior and whether or not be list wedding guests are really a thing
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about whether or not to send your regrets when the invitation wasn't sent directly to you.
Speaker 1: Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript where we discuss house warming's and
Speaker 2: registries all that coming up.
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post and
Speaker 2: I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 1: Hey kuz How's it going? It's good, It's good. I'm actually really excited that you and I are gonna get to see each other right after this recording. I know
Speaker 2: we gotta We gotta record this podcast so I could hop into a car. Come, you get treated
Speaker 1: lovely. Sandwiches were not. I was going to say we're not even getting together for work. Guys were getting together to just hang for a bit. It's gonna be so great.
Speaker 2: Well, it's nice for me to I've been at home loving being at home as the fall comes and the leaves turn. But I've been telling myself I have to get out. I have to drive around. I have to experience Vermont in late September, early October
Speaker 1: and
Speaker 2: visiting you at your parents play is actually a lovely opportunity to do that. So I'm a little a little greedy about this one, too.
Speaker 1: Well, no, you should be. The fall foliage is unbelievable at their house right now. My parents have, like a really, really big field surrounded by some woods. And so there's just deep maroons and deep purple's all the way through bright yellows, oranges, right? I mean, just everything is it feels like a rainbow when you're looking out at that field, right? now, So it's It's definitely a good time to come visit and
Speaker 2: guilty pleasure for me. I like the early part of the foliage season, when the colors are still really bright. So you get the yellow orange reds as well as the rusty like sort of orange red browns. And anyway, it's The sun is shining. It's gonna be a beautiful day. I can't wait.
Speaker 1: It is gonna be a beautiful day.
Speaker 2: Well, because in the spirit of not lingering in front of a screen on a beautiful day and not dwelling on the etiquette in our own lives, shall we get to some listener questions? Keep this into a little short
Speaker 1: today. I like that idea. I like it. Let's do it. Let's answer some questions. Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. Please email them toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 or reaches on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post inst on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with
Speaker 2: your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about the future and
Speaker 1: not as
Speaker 2: far ahead as I thought when I first read this title. This
Speaker 1: is
Speaker 2: about Christmas Eve etiquette, and it
Speaker 1: came in the
Speaker 2: form of a voicemail.
Speaker 1: My question is that my sister in law, it has her birthday on Christmas Eve and my family growing up always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, which, when I got married, made it very easy. Teoh be able to celebrate my family, Christmas Eve and my husband's family on Christmas Day, and they have festivities that lasts the whole day, and we really enjoy going over to my in laws on Christmas Day and spending the entirety of that day. But when my brother got married with his life having her birthday on Christmas Eve, things got a little complicated. And instead of asking what days would work for us and trying to be flexible, they have told us and every year since for the last about five years that we should cut my husband's family's Christmas short and Onley celebrate Christmas with my family on Christmas Day in the afternoon when we normally would spend that with my husband's family. So that's not only put my husband's family out and my husband out, but also my parents out as well. And so it really doesn't work for anyone. But every year my brother called me up and kind of aggressively will tell me that I need to cut my husband's family Christmas short because his wife first day is more important. And we found out through a series of awkward exchanges that through someone else telling us in front of my sister in law that she does celebrate her birthday the week before Christmas like the weekend before Christmas. So we know that she is celebrating her birthday, um, prior to her birthday, just like other people do, even when they don't have for days on Christmas so that they can celebrate with their friends and family. So she does on Saturday. But apparently she also likes to celebrate and
Speaker 1: does not allow them to come down and celebrate with us, not even every other year or every three or four years. But
Speaker 1: it's just a non negotiable for them. So I was wondering how you would handle telling them that you can't come down because we're three states away and it takes us a long time to drive down there. And we only stay for a few days and we can't really find another time to celebrate Christmas, not the day after Christmas or the day before Christmas Eve. Really, Christmas Eve is the only time that we have. While we're there on because of my dad's job, he can't take off Four days and Christmas, even Christmas.
Speaker 1: Our listener
Speaker 2: has asked to remain anonymous, and I want to thank her for submitting your questions via voicemail. It's really nice Thio here. All of your voice is so keep those voicemails coming, Lizzie Post. There is a lot going on in this question. Should we try to break it down a little
Speaker 1: bit? Yeah, I think so. From what I can tell, we are dealing with a change of tradition, and it does sound like it's been going on for five years. It sounds like Anonymous Originally had the experience of growing up, often doing Christmas on Christmas Eve with her family and then when she got married. It made it really easy to celebrate the holiday between both her family and her husband's family because the husband's family was traditionally on Christmas Day. So everyone kind of got to keep the same standards almost of the same traditions, going for timing in the family. And I do think that's really nice. It is really nice I missed and the years that he's not at the post family Christmas S. But it's It does happen that families grow and expand and change. And when the brother of our anonymous family got married, the woman that he married has a birthday on Christmas Eve, and that has made the brother want to change how they structure doing Christmas. I'm assuming here because he is trying to separate out Christmas Eve, celebrating for his wife's birthday and Christmas celebration for his family, which for him has now landed on the same day. So his world changed his what he needed to try to accomplish in that 24 hour period marked, you know the 24th of December changed in his life and that it can be really hard on everyone in that circumstance, and it sounds like it's been hard on anonymous. The request that I'm hearing is that
Speaker 1: we do half day of Christmas with husband's family in the morning and Christmas with anonymous family wife's family in the afternoon. And the problem I'm hearing with that is that there's actually a pretty big distance to travel between those two gatherings and to bounce from Christmas Eve. It one to Christmas morning with the other two back at Christmas afternoon with the first family feels like too much and too much of a disruption. And Dan, do you think I've got it painted correctly? It sounds
Speaker 2: right to me.
Speaker 1: Okay, There was a lot to unpack. There there is, and
Speaker 2: there ways to look at it. This sound very simple where you say to yourself, Well, if everyone is getting together on Christmas Eve and we're used to that to celebrate Christmas and now we're adding a birthday on that day,
Speaker 2: couldn't you celebrate them all together? It doesn't that mean everyone's there together on that day, at first I had to re read the question because I was saying, Where is the problem here? If the guest of honor for a birthday party is there at what is often a Christmas party, and
Speaker 2: you know how my mind works. Lizzie Post. I'm always looking for the solution. I'm trying to jump ahead, and I'm saying to myself, Isn't there a way to have that party that really honors a birthday as well as the Christmas holiday? And that can be difficult. And I imagine it's one of the challenges of having a birthday on Christmas Eve, and there are ways to do it. I just feel like there are.
Speaker 1: I wonder if the brother and his wife are actually looking to celebrate the birthday on the birthday on their own. And that was one thing I hadn't thought of when I first read it. But they're trying to create maybe a special potentially, you know, intimate celebration. Maybe. Maybe that's special, you know, within celebrating the wife's birthday. And I could see then him feeling the pull between, you know, how do I make my wife feels singularly special while my whole family is saying just come and have the party here and that might not really be what she wants, but I also find it interesting that we then get the other tidbit of information that the wife celebrates the birthday, the weekend ahead of time. And so now we we don't know what kind of mix of emotions and thinking goes into why the husband is so strongly advocating for a night with or without family, we don't know on on the birthday of Christmas Eve s Oh, that's 11 part that I don't know how to unpack on. And then and I don't know if Anonymous knows how to unpack it. And I don't know if it's something we would ever get real answers to or if we're even entitled to them. Um, but what I know is going on is that anonymous is Brother is asking her to change her holiday schedule Five years running now, and she's acquiesced each year. And I do know that it's perfectly okay to say no and to say I'm actually really this year, we would like to try going back to doing this. And this is what we're gonna be able to dio
Speaker 1: if we miss you. We miss you and will be sad to miss you, but we hope we'll get to see you at other points throughout the year. I mean, let's just this. Whenever one person is pushing really hard in that direction of control, I think it can feel like you have no say in the matter. No ability. It feels like someone else's controlling your schedule on your holiday. And I do think it's important to take that feeling of agency back word we haven't used in a while. But we used to use a lot and to say, You know, it works for us to do husband's family Christmas Day, and we're going to keep to that in any way that we can celebrate with you guys on Christmas Eve. We will. But this is what we need this year, right? And you don't have to do this every year, right? You could. You could alternate write down
Speaker 2: your again, anticipating where I would want to jump in and make a contribution. And it's very much along those lines that if you're looking toe, honor your brother's requests, it's come repeatedly whether you've, um, acquiesced or not. If you say to yourself, Boy, he's made this request repeatedly, and I've said no every time. But I anticipated coming again and it's coming through to me. This really matters to him that one of the middle ground solutions you might propose is an alternating years scenario. The other one I was imagining was Are their birthdays that air particularly special, for some reason, is it? Ah, landmark birthday or ah, birthday. Where your brother is planning Thio, take her on a trip or do something special or different and that you might engage them in that kind of conversation where you could pick something out like 1/40 the 35th, whatever and say we're going to really make a special event of that, and it's gonna be in two years or, um or it's gonna be this year or next year. But then we're going to switch back after that because this has worked so well for us. Um and so that would be one place. I think you might really find some middle ground that honors the how long the relationship has existed, but also how long you're hoping it's going to continue to be a good relationship in your life. The other idea that I was thinking about was ways to take that party, and we talked about this earlier and make it a party that serves two functions but does it in a really explicit way. And it could be bringing surprise birthday decorations the day before and having them all set up for when she arrives. Or, if you do a present exchanges having your Christmas presents in Christmas, wrapping with Christmas cards but also bringing some birthday presents and birthday wrappings with birthday cards. And maybe that's that's really extravagant. And it just feels just so over the top. And that feels really good that year for the person who's receiving it. You
Speaker 1: know, I think a lot of people do. I mean, I have a bunch of friends who have Christmas Birthdays or other holiday birthdays, and some say they don't care because it's just been going on for years. And others say it is just so nice to see that wrapping paper that's not Christmas wrapping paper or Thio just feel like someone really is separating out the occasions for you. And so you hear it, you hear it both ways, but, um, and also, you know, that might be one of those outreach things that you could do to, which is right now we're leaning so much on the communication through the brother. Are you friendly with your sister in law? Are you able Thio, Ask her about her birthday and what she likes to sell it. How she likes to celebrate, get get to know that that part of her and it also might help guide you or help you understand either where their request is coming from or e. I don't want to say or not, but but I do think that that asking questions and getting to know her could could help
Speaker 2: the situation. The parents are also major players there. I'm guessing involved, if not hosting, and there another perspective that might both be part of thinking of creative solutions. And they also might have preferences here. And I love how you're emphasizing communication, Lizzie, because the place I really wanted toe be sure that we got to before we left this question was that early communication. If you can reach out to your brother before he reaches out to you, If you anticipate this coming, you can kind of take that. I don't have the upper hand because it's not Ah, battle. But you could take the initiative,
Speaker 2: um, and and set the tone for the discussion. And it's that tone setting that I would also really encourage you to think about that. If you're looking for solutions, you're talking about wanting to honor people in their relationships and special events in their lives. It's gonna be really hard for that conversation to go badly. If you're thinking about other people, their perspective and really trying to take care of them. Even if it does go badly, which I don't think it will, you're going to feel good about the way you approached it in your participation
Speaker 1: anonymous. We truly hope this helps, and we hope that this year's holidays are filled with joy and celebration for all
Speaker 1: my That was fun, wasn't it? Doing things together is fun. It can be in your family to. Then things go better for the whole family.
Speaker 1: Our
Speaker 2: next question is titled uninvited, and it came to us via text. Hello. Thank you for the pod. I found it wall in quarantine and I'm listening from Episode one on I'm on Episode 1 93. Exclamation point
Speaker 1: Had the
Speaker 2: forward you an UN invitation received due to covert restrictions. We received a notice saying we're uninvited to a wedding. I
Speaker 1: know this
Speaker 2: is unprecedented times, but
Speaker 1: what is
Speaker 2: your opinion on the etiquette here? The funny thing is, my mom made the cut to get invited, and I was uninvited. Thanks. Anonymous and
Speaker 1: included with this text is a picture
Speaker 2: of the UN invitation and I'm not gonna call invitation. It's an UN invitation and it's quite elaborate.
Speaker 1: It's honestly, it's very, very beautiful. We're gonna read what we can of it, obviously taking out names. But just so you can hear the language that was received and this is a very beautiful script to our family and friends and then in really nice, clean, all upper case lettering below is what follows.
Speaker 1: We were so excited to celebrate with you. But due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had a change to our wedding plans. Pretty significantly.
Speaker 1: Unfortunately, with current restrictions in place and opting for the safety of our guests, we have made the difficult decision to downsize our wedding. We apologize for any inconvenience and kindly ask for your understanding all of our love and then their names. And then at the bottom, it says in that beautiful script, writing again, Love wins.
Speaker 1: So that's what was received. And, Dan, you wanna go with your first reactions?
Speaker 2: I have to first reactions, which is really not a first reaction. It's a dual reaction, and the one thought I had was This is totally understandable. People are dealing with circumstances that air changing and they have limited options. And there is something about it that feels awkward to me in terms of the way it was done. How here I do think matters. And something about a very official UN invitation, Um, feels awkward to me.
Speaker 1: I think so, too. Um, one of the big awkwardness is in this to me Is that nowhere? Does it e mean you're receiving the cards? So that's the hint that you are the uninvited, but this reads more like a general announcement and less like I'm so sorry, but we are unable to host our wedding the way we wanted to un. Unfortunately, we're not going to be using the same guest lit. Like all these ways of trying to say you're uninvited, don't work. Um, they don't come across well. They often edge up to an actual uninviting Doesn't sound right whenever I say it. UN invitation and at the same time. It's not the way to do it. I would love to read a counterbalance to this. That, I think illustrates why it's actually important to follow a different route. If you have thio, adjust your numbers for your wedding. Let's say you're keeping a ton of stuff the same the caterer, the date, the location. But you're ditching 75 guests because you now need to meet a 25 person gathering limit. That, to me is you need to cancel your wedding and then reissue invitations to a new wedding, which is this smaller 25 person wedding. It is so hard to write to someone and say We're downsizing. They were downsized, that's what The recipient what? They were downsized, and that's the soft way to try. And Dan, you're sweet to tolerate a very long rant for me, but it's like people are trying to minimize the effect it's gonna have. Using corporate language isn't going to do that. There's a reason that you don't do this. It comes across incredibly awkward. So if you're going to do this the right way, I received this this year. I totally understood what was going on it made sense, and I cheered the couple on when I got this.
Speaker 2: Here we go.
Speaker 1: We still do in beautiful script letters and then a cute picture of the couple. And then it says, Due to Cove in 19 we have decided to cancel our wedding until further notice. Thank you for your overwhelming support in love. We hope to be able to celebrate together in the future, and we'll be in touch if we're able to set a new date, stay safe and then the couple's names. It sounds a little different from this. This is saying unforeseen circumstance to change our wedding plans pretty significantly. Most people nowadays air using that language of co vid 19 of we've had to change our plans due to co vid because that wasn't specified here. I don't know if maybe they couldn't specify. Maybe it wasn't because of that. I just don't know. Yeah, I think that's a
Speaker 2: safe assumption. And you're right. Whether or not you name it, I think is a sort of a subtler aesthetic question. But I think you really got it. What for me is the heart of the matter here, which is
Speaker 2: going through the steps of canceling the wedding and then trying to reassemble that smaller guest list independently of paring down the guest list for the original event. And it sounds like a lot of work, and particularly when you painted out the scenario where it might be happening. Same date, same than you. Same cater or same officiant
Speaker 1: it can. It
Speaker 2: can feel like it would be so much easier to just leave the parts in place, that air in place, including the guests. And that's the one part where I do think it's worth the time of doing that extra work, which is going to require if you re inviting some people. But it avoids this scenario and you're right. As we read the script and I was thinking to myself, What's the language that I would use to replace this? And there wasn't anything that introduced the level of specificity that we were looking for, and you make a great point that there is actually no information on this UN invitation that tells you specifically that you're the person
Speaker 1: who is not
Speaker 2: going to be going. E think it's a safe assumption, and it's also not clear. Yeah, and And once you start saying, Well, I would have to say this to make it clear it starts to get more specific that you've been singled out and canceled.
Speaker 1: The one final thing I want to cover on this question is the funny thing is, my mom made the cut to get invited, and I was uninvited, and I think that that happens frequently. Anonymous. It is often, especially if we're close to people. And I'm just assuming that maybe this was a family wedding, but that often the older generation makes the cut in. The younger generation doesn't, and that is kind of one of those traditional respects to see seniority and age and those who have been around and and taking care of us in a lot of ways. I remember being incredibly close with one of my cousins, and just due to the nature of the way that wedding was planned and the dreams that they had for their day, it meant a very small guest lists, and my cousin had six aunts and uncles, and they almost all of them have spouses or significant others. So it immediately ate up the guest list. Onside. He couldn't invite any of his cousins whom he was really close. Thio. And it does just happen. And we try really hard to say. Try to stay supportive, try to not take it too personally. Difficult cuts do have to be made especially now during co vid Anonymous. Thank you
Speaker 2: so much for this question. Definitely. In these unprecedented times, any difficult or awkward situation like this is best approached with an open and understanding heart. And we're really hoping that this answer helps people find a path that provides fewer awkward moments through this kind of situation in the
Speaker 1: future.
Speaker 1: Mother wanted supposed married didn't invite me to her party. Are you sure you didn't get an invitation? Maybe they thought he wouldn't want to go to a party. They probably thought I wouldn't know how to act. Hey, now your name Cindy, not Cinderella.
Speaker 1: You will get an invitation to the party. You've just been some mix up way.
Speaker 1: This'll question is titled dress code dilemma. Question mark.
Speaker 1: Hi. A long time ago, I went to a married relatives recommitment ceremony after receiving an invitation. Three invites said nothing about dress code and I had to ride a bicycle to get to it. So my dress was what might be called dressy sporty. I wore bicycle pants with an otherwise nondescript tunic top that had some lace. When I arrived there, everyone was dressed to kill.
Speaker 1: I felt a bit uncomfortable and out of place, but did not say anything about the dress issue and tried to have a good time. One negative thing happened. My relative ended up blowing up at me during the event, and I thought he was either mad at how I dressed or how I acted as I was really getting into quote unquote freestyle dancing, as were some of the other people.
Speaker 1: I did not ask him why he was mad at me. I just tried to not engage in an argument and ruined the event.
Speaker 1: I find I keep thinking about the event, and I wonder if I should apologize and explain about my dress. Or if I was in the wrong as no dress code was ever mentioned, that I can recall
Speaker 1: who do you think was right and wrong in their behavior? Should I bring up this far past event and what happened now? It was a nice event for the most part, I keep feeling bad about what happened, though. If I had known that everyone would dress up, I might have taken a taxi instead of a bicycle so I could also dress well,
Speaker 1: Best. Sarah.
Speaker 2: Oh, Sarah, thank you for the question. And I just want to start off by saying, Don't feel too badly. Things that have happened in the past are in the past and often times. The best thing that we can do if we have some regret or some questions about something that we did or how it impacted people is to try to learn from it and do better moving forward. And I I hear that happening in this question. So
Speaker 2: I guess my first thought is, Don't let this hang on you in a way that causes you anxiety or further impacts these relationships in a negative way. But
Speaker 1: I do think you can use it as a great point for reflection and and you write down. We're hearing a little bit of that here as faras
Speaker 2: the rights and wrongs of this situation. Um, there's definitely some good and bad etiquette here. I do think that you probably missed the mark on interpreting the level of formality of this event. The dress in attire, expectation. And oftentimes your first clue as to the degree or formality of an event is the nature of the invitation. And if you didn't pick up on that, it's It's a small miss in the future. If you're there, any questions you can always call and ask either your host or someone else who is attending to get a sense for how other guests are approaching that. Having missed that mark, I think you did the best you can. We tell people, Don't let the best be the enemy of the good Show up, participate, stay involved. If I was already feeling like I was sticking out a little bit like a sore thumb, I might try to moderate my behavior a bit. I want you at my next party freestyle, dancing in any way that you want or can. But in an event where I was already wondering if I was a little out of place where the attention and focus is supposed to be on someone else, I would also think that monitoring my own behavior, being sure I don't add to that impression is something that I would be thinking about. It sounds like you might have missed that mark. That happens. That's okay. And it's not a big miss because participating in a party or celebration in an exuberant way is, to my mind one of the better mistakes that you can make because it's coming from a good place and unopened heart.
Speaker 1: Dan, I like that perspective that to have aired in some way, you've aired in a place of participation and enthusiasm. What interests me is that it sounds like this was a while ago. Um, you know, you say you keep thinking about the event. Yeah, You reference it being a long time ago, Um, and so I'm curious about the idea moving forward, and we aren't therapists, but I'm not certain I would just advise picking up the phone and saying, Hey, I want to talk to you about, you know, um, your wedding years ago. But it's the kind of thing where if you're still in contact with this person and you're having one of those could have, would have should a conversations. It could be the one where you say, you know, I have I have one that actually involves you. I've always felt really badly that something about either my behavior or my dress or something about me at the wedding was really upsetting to you. And I never wanted to further the upset mint. So I just, you know, I just let the blow up or whatever happened, and I just kept really quiet, so it's not toe prolong it in the event. But I'd always wished I had talked to you about it afterwards. You know that I feel like those are the kinds of things if you're still close with someone that you could go through and I would never say anybody is forbidden from reaching out and trying to make amends or find out what went wrong. But it's not something I would do if I wasn't really in touch with this person that much anymore.
Speaker 2: I agree. We oftentimes talk about late thank you notes on this show, and we say, Go ahead, send them do it. There's almost nothing negative that can happen. Apologies can be a little trickier. In some ways. I do think there's no statute of limitation, but there is the reality that you can dredge up old issues that are better left in the past. There better. Sometimes it's better to let time heal those wounds and not reopen them. I think the kind of soft touch you're talking about is like, provides you the opportunity to address those things without doing that. The other thing that you mentioned that I think is really important here is that there is, ah,
Speaker 2: a reciprocal bad behavior that blow up at you publicly in front of others at the party is also bad behavior. Whatever you did that preceded it, you were also treated rudely at the event, and bringing up the whole experience is in some ways bringing that up a swell and that complicates things a little bit. It's not just that there was something you did that you never apologized for. The situation was ugly, and getting back into that in some ways brings up that as well.
Speaker 1: Sarah, one piece of of reassurance that we might be able to leave you with and again not knowing you or your family or this relative. It does make it harder to say, but I know that I've had moments with relatives. I know that even at our post family Christmas, there have been moments that have happened between cousins or aunts or uncles or grand parents when they were with us. And sometimes things really do just get forgiven. In that moment of family celebrating, things happen, You know what I mean? And it just can be that sometimes, even when you've had a moment of some kind of tension with someone like you, you described it the wedding that even for that and even for not having talked about it, it's just something that that you can both walk away from saying, Wow, that that happened. But we move forward, we move on, and I just I know that that does happen in families I've experienced in my family, you know? And it's not to say that seeking forgiveness and and seeking out reconciliation or understanding isn't a good thing. Um, but there are times and there are family relationships where that sort of just forgiveness and moving on just just naturally happens. And sometimes you can lean into that. Sarah, thank you
Speaker 2: for the question. You said that you keep feeling bad about this and we hope that our answer helps alleviate that a little
Speaker 1: bit. I'm going to talk to you this morning about the way you look Now. I've heard it said that we women attach too much importance to our appearance. But that isn't true after all. The way we look exert so much influence on the way we feel.
Speaker 1: This next question is titled Finding Yourself on the B list. Hi,
Speaker 2: Lizzie and Dan.
Speaker 1: I know
Speaker 2: you hear this a lot, but I love the show. Thanks for the awesome podcast. I have a question relating Toe Weddings is
Speaker 1: having
Speaker 2: a B list wedding guest a new trend. I have two examples. The first my husband and I were invited and we both RSVP'd. Yes. However, a month before the wedding, we were told that I the spouse was uninvited due to the couple over booking too many guests. My husband attended the wedding solo and saw that the spouses or Children of the other guests were there. So it wasn't a no plus one situation. The second wedding. We received an invite two weeks before the wedding of a friend's sister. When we asked this friend why the invite seemed last minute, we were told that they needed to film or seats in situations like these. Is this a new norm to expect from weddings? Are the value of wedding gifts affected by these circumstances? Thanks so much for any advice. B list, Wedding guest,
Speaker 1: the list. Wedding guest. I just have to say right off the bat situation one is, like, totally unacceptable. Like you. You invite a couple to a wedding and then you un invite one spouse. But you allow other people to bring spouses and kids and stuff. You just un invite both couples or you just Well, first of all, you don't un invite. Let's get that correct. This is not the way to do it. And I get that an A miscommunication could have happened in an overbooking, and someone's put in a really awkward situation. But that was not the way to handle it. Like you mean, Dan, am I in the wrong or is it okay to be a little bit shocked? But
Speaker 2: it's okay to be a little shocked.
Speaker 1: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate the validation of my emotion there. I read that it was just like, Whoa, that's just the wrong way all across the board. You just
Speaker 2: don't separate a couple like that. You can either invite both or you can't invite. And that's those are the hard choices that people have toe
Speaker 2: have to make when they're hosting a wedding.
Speaker 1: From the second sort of question that came up in the example where they received an invitation two weeks before the wedding of a friend of theirs, his sister, that makes sense to me. What I don't love is the second part of it where they were told they needed to fill more seats. So and the fact that it's not the friend but the friend sister really does give it that, like third party feeling of like, We're extras, that someone's wedding because they wanted it to look full full. It just doesn't seem right. The funny thing is, is that B lists happen and some people do have them happen. Well, they execute them well. Excuse me. Be lists can be really tactful and useful, especially nowadays, when I think more people are declining or hemming and hawing over whether they can attend a wedding, I think it is helpful to be able thio expand and invite some people on your guest list. who you wouldn't have otherwise been able to invite. But you have to do it tactfully. And B list wedding guest here has just been hit twice with two really tactless versions of it.
Speaker 2: So I'm guessing the, um or tactful way to handle this would be to prioritize getting your and we'll just call them. This B list invites out a little sooner so that people don't feel quite so rushed there. There is something toe the feeling or impression that's created when that invitation to a event like a wedding shows up just two weeks before. And there are practical constraints, so we don't hear back from people. But if you're really gonna be doing this kind of a B list, being sure that you've got your invitation timeline set up so that your RSVP'd gives you enough time and if we want to get a little more specific about it, I would say shoot for getting the initial invitations out soon enough that you get the replies to issue the second invitation round closer to a month ahead
Speaker 2: and that that
Speaker 1: proud you did such a good answer, Dan, It's such a good answer. It can't be shy away from the wedding invites stuff. And that was just such good, solid wedding invitation. I'm just Yes, thank you.
Speaker 2: Thank you, Pat. On the bag. A small bag.
Speaker 1: Golf clubs s. Well, let
Speaker 2: me push my luck a little bit and try one more answer here, which is that I don't think this should factor into how you think about the gift you give the
Speaker 1: Absolutely. You are correct.
Speaker 2: Ultimately you're attending or not. You're invited or not. And those are the things that are going to affect that decision making. You're not going to say to yourself Oh, they didn't do this Well, so I'm going to start toe doc. Percentage points on the dollar value of a gift. Um, it's not be list guests give B list gifts. You're you're still going to proceed with that spirit of generosity and enthusiasm and celebration that really should be behind the gift giving part of this.
Speaker 1: And of course, sticking to your budget. Always, always the number
Speaker 2: one, after all. Good reminder.
Speaker 1: After all the good sentiment and just what you can actually afford Feel comfortable giving O B list wedding guests. We are sorry about the two experiences that you filled us in on. It's not the way that that should be happening, but we do hope that this helps paint a better impression of how to utilize a B list well and not leave guests with her feelings.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. Toe. Awesome etiquette. Emily Post com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette and we truly hope you do, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing that you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover. And today we hear from Mark. Hi, Dan and Lizzie loved the podcast. My feedback is about the Grocery Express lane from Episode
Speaker 1: 2 91.
Speaker 2: I think it waas. This has long been answered by George Carlin on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at about the 2 50 mark and YouTube link is included. That part of grocery shopping is explained, smiles and laughing so hard I'm crying. Keep up the good work,
Speaker 1: Mark. Thank you. I feel like we should probably preview that before we post it, don't you think? Dan, I think we should. I think with
Speaker 2: Johnny Carson I'm seeing were probably pretty
Speaker 1: safe shamelessly. All right. We also have another piece of feedback from anonymous Dear Lizzie and Daniel. I submitted a request for advice on how to talk to my mother about her rude tone of voice back in the fall of 2019. Imagine my delight when I was listening to the September 9th Show and suddenly heard my question Red on the awesome etiquette podcast. I screamed in my car while driving down the road. They're reading my question. That's my question. I was driving by myself but looked around for somebody to acknowledge my excitement.
Speaker 2: I know how that feels.
Speaker 1: E o. I had to rewind the show to hear your answer. Thank you for the wonderful advice you gave my mother and I have a much better relationship now. I'm sorry it took so long to thank you for taking the time to read and respond to listeners questions. You are making a big impact. Keep up the good work Anonymous. That just cracks me at that. I think that was such a good dis well described moment. Anonymous. Thank
Speaker 2: you. I'm delighted to hear about it and delighted that our answer help.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for sending us your thoughts and updates, and please keep them coming. Love hearing from you. You can send your feedback or update toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette. And
Speaker 1: this week we're going to
Speaker 2: talk about housewarming parties, registries and a plea from a listener to think about the two of them together.
Speaker 1: Dear Dan and Lizzie. I've been listening to your podcast for three years now, and always look forward to hearing your voices. I'm writing Not with a question, but rather to implore you to consider some degree of flexibility on the matter of housewarming registries. With so many people facing different kinds of celebrations and challenges at different stages of life, branding the housewarming registry as inappropriate seems to go against your guiding principles of consideration, respect and honesty. As you might imagine, my husband and I are anticipating moving
Speaker 2: into a home
Speaker 1: soon and are considering how or whether to establish a housewarming registry. We've been married for 35 years and owned a home at one time, but went through a very difficult period that involved loss of jobs for us, both the untimely deaths of multiple family members in a short period of time and an unanticipated cross country move. After nearly 10 years of unemployment, my husband returned to school to retrain for an entirely different career and having weathered what felt like an extended storm. My husband and I both have jobs that we love, and we're now finally in a happy position of hitting the restart button on our lives.
Speaker 1: In the course of our relocations, we downsize to smaller and smaller rental homes and gave away most of our material possessions, books and furniture, especially that we've accumulated in the first year of marriage. We never had a wedding or a bridal shower, and we don't have Children, so we have never signed up for any sort of gift registry before. We're now finding ourselves in a position very similar to when we were first married. We're celebrating the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, and frankly, we would love to receive gifts from any of our friends and family members who might delight in giving us gifts to help us celebrate.
Speaker 1: We would like to host a housewarming party when we get settled in our homes. Is there any appropriate and discreet way to register for gifts and to make the registry known on Lee to people who ask if we need anything? Or is the housewarming registry absolutely outside the boundaries of good etiquette? My husband and I have always delighted in gifting gifts to friends who are celebrating happy milestones. But we feel strangely frozen out of the culture of gift registries that recognizes some life celebrations and not others. Looking forward to your thoughtful response. New start new start. I have so many thoughts, but after reading that much I do I do say I need to hear from my cousin Dan. Dan, what do you think? This is an interesting position. Thought all sorts of things going on here,
Speaker 2: it really is. And I appreciate the context and the story that we got that explains where this perspective is developing from. And I wanna congratulate new start on the new start on weathering what sounds like a difficult time and, um, for doing it in a way that just sounds really intentional. And I'm just so glad and happy for you that you're coming out the other side and looking at a positive change,
Speaker 1: and I am going to chime in and say that you have my sympathies. I am a single woman with no Children. Um, there really aren't any celebrations in life that mark, you know exactly what you're talking about. And as you mentioned, you didn't go through the wedding ceremonies that, uh, involved a lot of gift giving and the parties that involved a lot of gift giving and minus that, it's you, right? There aren't sort of showers. There aren't moments for that aside from from birthdays, and and as a sui often become adults. And those things, I think start start toe Wayne a bit like the presents aren't quite what they were when you were five. You know what I mean? No, no, I want to say, like, I always get beautiful, beautiful birthday presents, but it's a different experience as an adult, I think, and you are right that there are not opportunities for friends to and family to shower you with gifts. If if you don't go through some of those classic milestones and there's a lot of people that will argue, well, that's the thing. If you don't choose to go through the milestone, then you don't get the gifts. And it seems like a really strange thing to just say to someone like Tough Batouti's and I don't really personally being like I. I don't love that experience either. It's a funky spot to be in, and I think you paint a picture of a place where you could find a way to tactfully do what you want to do. And I think that especially given how much people are
Speaker 1: e think used to the simple exchanging of links in order to get people to good gifting ability. I don't know about you, Dan, but in my family at Christmas or a birthday times, it's send me the links. Just send me the links of what you want. I want to see what you're interested in. Send me your list. Send me your this. You know, That's kind of a common thing we hear. So the way it's presented by New Start, a housewarming party where the registry is available. But on Lee, if someone asks for it is an interesting idea,
Speaker 2: it is. And it was that, um, specificity in the way the question was asked, or the the thought was proposed that I think gives us the window Thio. Look for that allowance that we're considering here and for me. There's a language question that matters and the whole idea of a registry or using that word starts to conjure up in my mind ah, list that's really created for a particular party or event. And it's distributed everybody who's coming to that event because there's an expectation about gift giving, and this is the tool that's designed to make it easier for them. But it really reflects that pre existing expectation that there's going to be a gift, not exchange, but a gift given.
Speaker 2: And all of a sudden, when I hear you talk about an Amazon wish list to me that feels so much more casual, it feels less about group expectations and mawr about honoring a request from someone I wanna get you something. Is there anything you need in your new home? There is. Would you like to see our wish
Speaker 1: list on and just calling
Speaker 2: it a wish list, not a register in your rates so common for people to send these things to each other in the spirit of making life easier? What's on your
Speaker 2: Hanukkah list this year? You know, I've got a little list. Let me Let me let me Do you have a wish list Yeah, I'd be happy to share it with you if you get that kind of request. Responding in the affirmative is good courtesy. So given that framing, I do think there's some wiggle room here.
Speaker 1: I think there's something else that we say on this show a lot new start, and you mentioned that you're a longtime listener, so So I know this will resonate. You have to know the rules to break them. And you know these rules. You know where the perception of a registry comes from. You know that things like housewarming zehr parties that are often thrown more frequently in life because people move that the tradition of a housewarming isn't about gifts. But it's about warming the house with people's presence, their physical bodies so that a home doesn't feel quite a strange. And I think that making sure that those things are at the forefront of the party that you're throwing makes it a lot easier to say. Here's our wish list or, you know, it's really thoughtful of you to ask, Let me think of a couple things and I'll send something over, you know, later today, right, those those kinds of things I think make it feel more in the spirit of this party paired with the spirit of what your friends and family are pretty probably really excited to get to do for you right now, I'm guessing that in your particular case, people who are invited to this party are going to really want to celebrate you and the good the good times that you are living right now and then the new start that you're so excited about. And so I think you're smart to think that they're gonna want to do this for you and being prepared. I think in a way that doesn't say we wanted you to do it for us. You know, even though you do, I like the honesty, e no. And I also don't want to deny the fact that we might shift in the future where the honesty of the line of I really do want gifts. It would be wonderful. There there is. There is a part of me that really resonates with that. And there's also just a part of I think, how sometimes perceptions change that could resonate with that in the future. I'm not sure that we're there yet, so going back to know the rules to break him, I think you set things up like a housewarming party because this is a housewarming party that you are willing to send some some A list of particular items out to some friends. Um, if they do ask whether you choose to do that through A you know, like Dan was saying an Amazon wish list or just a list of your own. And, you know, I think the hard part with that is that people might double up on things. It's then on you to return them. But then again, they're kind of getting you something bigger for party that usually I'm just gonna put put it out there. Traditional housewarming parties tended to be things more like friends bringing over a plate of cookies or something, or a house plant less so the idea that you're really helping to furnish someone's house or UM or or build their their possessions in their home, you know, build out that house, pad out that
Speaker 2: house. I think that's really important to keep in mind that you honor the traditional intent of the party and people's expectations about that. That are created by those traditions, and you're less likely to step on toes than when you do step outside the box is. I do think it's important as we close out this post script that we really do return to that basic rule or that basic guideline or tradition that generally the housewarming party didn't have a registry, and you really don't want to distribute something like a registry with invitations to that party. I do think that's gonna fall
Speaker 2: outside the bounds of what I would consider to be good etiquette. It does start to cross that line of I wanna help a guest who's curious about what to give me and steps into that territory of. I'm suggesting that you give me a gift and I do think that you wanna be careful about that while you honor what Lizzie was talking about that we are living in a time where people mark life events in different ways and it might be appreciated if you've got an answer to a question that someone asks about what you might like or how they could help you out at this time.
Speaker 1: New start before we close out this postscript segment I want to thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. It painted a really detailed picture of who you are, where you've been. Why a particular avenue of etiquette made sense to you. And you just you gave us so much toe work with and I really appreciate it. As you said, you've been a listener for three years. So you've you've seen Dan go through some interesting things in life and you kind of heard what we've been up Thio. And it was such a joy to get such a vivid picture of who some of our listeners are. So thank you for for being vulnerable and for sharing that with us on DWI also just want to congratulate you. 10 years is a lot toe weather and must be so wonderful to be in a place of new start. And we really hope that you and your friends and family get to celebrate this with such joy. The
Speaker 1: way you think you could be happy about rules. Now way. Remember that rules to make things better for everybody? Yeah, If you don't understand the rules, find out why the rule is made. If you really know why. Then it will probably we make sense.
Speaker 1: We like to
Speaker 2: end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out
Speaker 1: in the
Speaker 2: world. And that can come in so many forms. Today we hear from Mary.
Speaker 2: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. Your podcast is and has been a bomb to my weary spirit. So I have to start with my thanks to both of you for providing this kind of goodness to the world. We need you and we're lucky to have you.
Speaker 2: Now the reason for my email I need to salute the small village of lovely humans who came to my aid when one day I found myself not at all well, in the middle of a grocery store. I had gone to the store by myself that morning to do a weekly shop. And about 20 minutes into my errand, I noticed that the cramps I tend to experience every month were much worse than usual. I tried and tried to power through, but I had never been in pain like that before or since I abandoned my half full grocery cart at the back of the store and staggered toward the registers, black spots, dancing in front of my eyes and afraid of passing out. I grabbed the attention of a cashier and told her I was sorry, but I was feeling very unwell, and I needed help. She rushed out from behind her station, put an arm around me and guided me to a clean ish spot on the floor by the front windows. She brought me a cold bottle of water and ask some questions to determine exactly what was going on. She was so kind and didn't make me feel embarrassed or ridiculous. While she was talking to me, another customer approached, ask if I was okay and needed help. She explained the situation while I tried to sip the water and the other customer asked how I got into the store that day when he found out I driven myself and when I said as clearly as I could that I did not want an ambulance or a trip to the ER, he said, Well, I'm happy to drive you home. You certainly can't drive by yourself. He seemed like a trustworthy guy. He reminded me of my dad, who lived thousands of miles away. But still safety is paramount. He immediately guessed that I might be nervous. And so he pulled out his driver's license and business card, shared them with the cashier who photographed Um, And then he suggested that she take my contact information as well. He suggested that I let her know when I was safely back in my apartment.
Speaker 2: That way, if she didn't hear from me in a reasonable time frame, she would know something had gone amiss and would be able to notify the right people. He was opened and honest and kind, and he did everything he could to make sure I was comfortable with receiving his help. He wasn't pushy, but he was clearly eager to help a young woman in a lot of pain and without a lot of options. The cashier happily spent this time assisting me, and other grocery store staff made sure I had what I needed. No one seemed annoyed or put out. The other customer brought his car around front, and two staff members helped me outside a 15 minute drive during which I really couldn't do much more than nod, got me home. And this very sweet man shared his business card with me too, in case I needed anything else. I later received a diagnosis and some medical assistance to make sure my cramps wouldn't be that bad again. While I'm unlikely to forget how much pain I felt that day, it's the kindness and care of total strangers in my lowest moment that will stay with me and inspire me to offer that kind of empathy and compassion toe anyone who crosses my path.
Speaker 2: So to the staff and customer of the now closed Harris Teeter in Nashville, Tennessee, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thanks so much for all that you do. Mary.
Speaker 1: Mary, we are so glad that you are feeling better. And we are very glad that you got safely home and are inspired to make sure that others always get safely
Speaker 2: home to I'm reminded that there are everyday heroes in this world. Mary, thank you so much for the salute.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening. And thank you to everyone who sent us something
Speaker 2: and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers on social media. You can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email, toe awesome etiquette and Emily post dot com.
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Speaker 1: etiquette. Our show is edited by the Amazing Chris Albertine and it's assistant produced by the Fantastic Brigid Out Thanks Brigitte Thing
Speaker 1: right